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I asked this question in order to know/confirm that the usb hdd that I have is a normal magnetic hdd. Now the issue is whenever I'm copying data from my internal hdd to the external hdd the speed is very very low even though I'm using usb 3.0 as my interface. What could be the issue ? There is one thing though, the internal hdd is using ext4 while the external hdd is ntfs (some version) .

Output of lsusb -t

[$] lsusb -t  

/:  Bus 05.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=ehci-pci/8p, 480M
    |__ Port 2: Dev 17, If 0, Class=Mass Storage, Driver=uas, 480M
    |__ Port 7: Dev 15, If 0, Class=Imaging, Driver=usbfs, 480M
/:  Bus 04.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
    |__ Port 2: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Human Interface Device, Driver=usbhid, 1.5M
/:  Bus 03.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Human Interface Device, Driver=usbhid, 1.5M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 1, Class=Human Interface Device, Driver=usbhid, 1.5M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=uhci_hcd/2p, 12M

The journal shows https://paste.debian.net/788570/

What seems to be interesting are these lines -

Aug 12 15:01:07 debian kernel: blk_update_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 703714304
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: buffer_io_error: 118 callbacks suppressed
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964032, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964033, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964034, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964035, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964036, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964037, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964038, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964039, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964040, lost async page write
Aug 12 15:01:08 debian kernel: Buffer I/O error on dev sdb1, logical block 87964041, lost async page write

Should I be concerned, is it possible that the hdd is going bad ?

I am on Debian testing and the kernel is -

[$] uname -a   

Linux debian 4.6.0-1-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.6.2-2 (2016-06-25) x86_64 GNU/Linux

Update - The USB disk is bus-powered and is using the cable given by the manufacturer as it's unique.

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The line

Aug 12 15:01:07 debian kernel: blk_update_request: I/O error, dev sdb, sector 703714304

definitely indicates a problem with the disk.

Your full log is showing timeouts and USB bus resets.

Now this can happen for a number a reasons. The main one is a failing disk; a bad sector.

However if the USB disk is bus powered (no external power connection) then the wrong cable may also cause symptoms that look like this.

In both cases it'll cause a lot of retries, failures, potentially corrupted data, and slow throughput.

  • The USB disk IS bus powered and am using the cable provided by the vendor as it's unique . Would you recommend running smartmontools on the usb hdd to see what results come up ? – shirish Aug 13 '16 at 5:03
  • If smartctl -a works over your USB drive adapter then it's worth looking at, yes; if you see bad sector reports then it's likely the disk failing. Other errors may require interpretation; it may be worth updating the question with the relevant parts of the output. – Stephen Harris Aug 13 '16 at 12:15

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